I had planned a post with photos of a project I've been working on, but that project did not get finished by now as I had planned. So instead, I will do a post (or a couple of posts, probably) about what I was doing instead of finishing my project.
We were invited (sort of last-minute, but we can be spontaneous!) to go with some friends to Sauder Village on Thursday. (Apologies in advance for blurry pictures... sometimes the light was not so good for picture-taking.) Sauder Village is a sort of "living history" museum with shops and houses showing how the early settlers and pioneers lived in this area. It is built right in the "Black Swamp" of Ohio, originally considered uninhabitable. I saw this plaque about the original "corduroy roads" that people used for travel by wagon to come in and settle the area. In the absence of the idea materials, you use what you have; in this case wood-- lots and lots of wood. Logs were laid down to make a way through the mud, and when they sunk, more logs were added on top. In a different part of the village is a replica of corduroy road with a covered wagon on it-- a particularly unpleasant way to travel.
Every building has a hand-painted sign. This one, in particular caught my eye.
"A house without a broom is like a bride without a groom." Heh. Indeed.
I especially enjoyed the broom shop, surprisingly enough. The historians in the village all work at a craft while talking with visitors, giving information and telling stories. The products are used and sold throughout the village. I noticed that every building has these corn brooms in them.
It occurred to me that in the days before there was a microfiber cloth for every cleaning purpose in the home, there was a corn broom for every purpose.
Notice the "brooms" hanging under the "cake tester" sign? You keep one hanging by your stove and break off a piece to test your cakes, because toothpicks must be whittled and are not as handy as broom corn.
And then there are beautiful brooms just to hang around and be decorative.
The tin shop was neat, and it was very interesting to watch the tin smith work.
Lots of pretty and useful metal things were on display there.
I think I want one of these herb hangers in my kitchen.
In the basket shop, the historian talked about how the settlers and pioneers did not have plastic buckets and bags and cardboard boxes and all the other (usually disposable) containers that we have so abundantly. Yet they had great need of containers for all purposes in the home and on the farm, so in those days baskets were of more necessity than now, when we use them mostly for decoration.
I was really hankering after one of these egg baskets which have two deep lobes so as to keep the eggs from jostling and rolling around in the bottom and breaking. I would dearly love to have my children use one of these for egg-gathering rather than the plastic ice cream buckets they currently use (and yes, we often have some broken eggs by the time they reach the house). But at $60 for a small one... well, the ice-cream buckets will have to do. I'll keep my eye out at thrift stores and yard sales and maybe I will find one.
I loved seeing how these daily necessities were made beautiful. If you are going to work at something out of need, you might as well make it a lovely craft and enjoy the creative process.
I will do "part 2" tomorrow with more photos of our trip to Sauder Village. For now I leave you with a parting shot of my own sweet little pioneer girl.